WandaVision: 3. Now in Color
January 22, 2021 5:20 AM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Wanda’s pregnancy fritzes her powers as she and Vision prepare for an accelerated delivery.

Welcome to the 1970s! The production design of this episode is clearly based on The Brady Bunch, while this week’s theme song borrows heavily from The Partridge Family, and the commercial reference should be obvious to anyone who was in America in the 70s.
posted by 1970s Antihero (69 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Digital Spy: WandaVision's big episode 3 reveal just changed everything for the show.
Vulture: WandaVision Recap: Come On, Get Happy.

I didn't think the comedy worked so well, bit, uh, laboured. But the plot seems to be developing nicely. They're definitely in some kind of physical location in the real universe, it's not just a hallucination or a pocket universe. We still don't know whether SWORD is doing it or just monitoring it. Assuming Geraldine is a SWORD agent from the pendant, it seems you can walk into the simulation somehow.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 5:39 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


I am loving this show! Can't wait to see where it goes.
posted by ellieBOA at 6:35 AM on January 22


ScreenCrush: Episode breakdown.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 6:46 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


We really liked the first two episodes, even though neither of us have any clue who these people are, or that they have any kind of past within the Marvel universe. Will this become a big hindrance going forward? I really hate starting into something only to quickly become lost because I needed to know back story details only available buried deep in the MCU or any other sort of pop/geek universe.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:30 AM on January 22


The Marvel Legends show on D+ has one episode each on Wanda and Vision that give you the gist of their backstories, that might help. They're short!
posted by jason_steakums at 8:35 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


I'm now wondering (Wandaing?) if what we saw at the end is an Annihilation-style exclusion zone and this is something much, much larger scale that really demonstrates how truly powerful Wanda is. And how scary that would be for everyone else.

Just from a metanarrative point if view, going back to a Civil War/X-Men style tension between the "normal" world and superheroes might be a good pivot from the "bad guy out to destroy the universe" story was well and truly explored with three Avengers.
posted by slimepuppy at 10:30 AM on January 22 [5 favorites]


I really hate starting into something only to quickly become lost because I needed to know back story details only available buried deep in the MCU or any other sort of pop/geek universe.

I've had to give a couple people a bare-bones "I've never seen any of the Marvel stuff at ALL" kinda summary, so here that is (apologies if I'm repeating stuff you already know):

Wanda is a refugee from a fictional Eastern European country who survived a sort of Bosnia-type of conflict and then got experimented on by a mad scientist, and so now she has magic powers that let her levitate stuff and affect people's perception of reality. Vision is the living embodiment of an AI system that used to run the computer network at the Avengers headquarters. They met during one or another Avengers thing and hit it off; there was a little bit of infighting during the Avengers after that, so they decided to try to run away and lay low as "normal people", but the rest of the Avengers rounded them back up pretty quick - because there was this bad guy named Thanos who was trying to round up six magic stones that would let him completely rewrite reality across the whole of the universe. And - one of these stones was somehow in Vision's head.

The Avengers knew that Wanda could destroy it, but they had to get it out of Vision's head first without killing him. So they all went to a computer expert who could try to rewire Vision's head and take the stone out; the rest of the Avengers would run interference against Thanos while she was doing that. But Thanos got there too soon and there wasn't enough time - so Vision decided to sacrifice himself and asked Wanda to blow up the stone anyway, even though it'd kill him. And she did.

And as if that wasn't bad enough, when Thanos showed up and saw that's what happened, he just said "well, too bad, one of the other five stones lets me rewind time" and rewound things back to right before Vision got killed, and took the stone and killed him all over again anyway, with Wanda watching. And then the thing Thanos did ultimately killed her TOO, along with half of all living beings in the universe. But then the Avengers figured out a way to undo what Thanos did. So they were able to bring Wanda back - but since Vision died a different way, he was still dead. And THAT all happened right before the events here; so basically, Wanda's got some grief issues and Vision may not even supposed to be alive.

The show will lead you into other important-to-know stuff, like the mention in today's episode about Wanda's brother who also got killed. Anything beyond that might be more of just a cool inside reference that would be fun if you see it, but won't hurt if you don't get it (there are some names on things that are shout-outs to earlier incidents which might be clues, but also might just be a wink-wink "hey, this is an Avengers reference!" kind of thing).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:16 PM on January 22 [22 favorites]


The comedy didn't work that well for me this week, either. Though, as with both previous weeks, the style of humour is particularly 70s sitcom - lots more puns and physical comedy and wacky faces. I totally get why three episode screeners were sent to critics now, the plot is setting in now, rather than just the situation and the subtle clues. I love the tonal shifts in this show, so deft. Change in performance style, lighting, camera shots. And then, of course, the change of aspect ratio at the end. This might be "just" a television show compared to the blockbuster films in the franchise, but this one is taking a lot more chances and excites me on a creative level much more the the MCU movies.
posted by crossoverman at 2:24 PM on January 22 [6 favorites]


Didn’t Wanda’s accent change when she mentioned her brother? And she was singing in another language? (Or just more accented English?)
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 5:29 PM on January 22 [4 favorites]


I know Wanda’s native language is Sokovian but I don’t think we’ve heard her speak it in the movies.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 5:48 PM on January 22


She definitely said Pietro's name in a more Sokovian accent, and the lullaby is supposed to be Sokovian but I'm not sure which Slavic/Baltic language they cribbed it from. If Elizabeth Olsen is also utilising voice work for her character arc, then I'm really pleased that she's got a chance to really play with it as a lead since I've noted it's a technical aspect she herself had commented on (but in previous MCU movies it didn't get a lot of moments to be visible).
posted by cendawanita at 5:59 PM on January 22 [4 favorites]


Two thoughts:

Wanda is definitely maintaining this I illusion, though she doesn't quite have complete control over it. She can respond to events and eject people from the field.

I kind of thought the stilted humor was deliberate- that they actors are starting to strain against the reality Wanda is maintaining.

Also, did anyone noticed that the background behind the neighbors when they were talking was obviously a backdrop? I think that was deliberate as well.
posted by happyroach at 6:35 PM on January 22 [11 favorites]


My money is on Geraldine being the pilot of the SWORD helicopter from episode 1; Wanda turned it into a toy to protect the bubble reality.
posted by FallibleHuman at 6:43 PM on January 22 [13 favorites]


After starting out super confused, I'm coming around to think that this show is trippy in a fun way.
posted by medusa at 6:48 PM on January 22


Well, it's certainly interesting. Not really a comedy, but I don't quite think it's supposed to be one anyway. Wanda ejecting Geraldine from the bubble is where it gets really intriguing and proves that it's some weird thing that's most likely (mostly?) under Wanda's control. Is everyone else in there involuntarily, and if so, why? I just assumed it was some dreamscape thing of hers, but some form of reality seems to be involved. HMMMMMMM.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:58 PM on January 22 [2 favorites]


The Vulture review linked above nails it for me:
As usual, the WandaVision team more or less nails the look and tone of the subject matter it’s homaging, but to what end? “Episode Three” sets out to dial up the weirdness and confusion, and it more or less achieves that goal; but the only challenge the series is presenting to us is that of gathering clues in order to speculate about what’s in the Mystery Box of the setting and setup. And that’s just about the emptiest, most patronizing way to keep people coming back to something.
I can't stop watching MCU content and yet I also can't imagine it'll ever deliver anything actually surprising. This is fun enough, but some actual emotional stakes need to come in pretty soon.
posted by HeroZero at 7:05 PM on January 22 [2 favorites]


I dunno, I think that Vulture reviewer is being a bit axe-grindy. I’m enjoying the ride so far.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:47 PM on January 22 [15 favorites]


I can't stop watching MCU content and yet I also can't imagine it'll ever deliver anything actually surprising. This is fun enough, but some actual emotional stakes need to come in pretty soon.

Wow, what a different explanation. For me the emotional stakes are really clear. Vision was much more present in the first episode, a bit less in the second, and much less in this one plus she puppetted him more directly...it's very clearly and tangibly to me, like dripping of it, grief, the kind where you don't want to believe the person is dead...not just the person but the whole life you imagined with the person. So here is a weird constructed imagining, but it's all around hearth and home, and gradually that is getting ripped away, the jokes don't stick, her brother comes up, she pitches Geraldine out for disturbing her.

It's so - different - from the grimdark raped/traumatized woman snarling in the dark apartment corner that it is fresh and it goddamn hurts, this sanitized, insane asylum-type struggle over whether Wanda's going to end up taking things down or being taken down or leaving things up. I assume the twins will be central to this given that they feel almost imposed or inserted.

Anyways for me emotion is definitely not lacking. It's also amusing and creepy all at once.
posted by warriorqueen at 8:06 PM on January 22 [35 favorites]


Didn’t Wanda’s accent change when she mentioned her brother?

Well, she said her brother's name the way she would pronounce her brother's name. It would be weird if she Americanised that pronunciation.

Also, did anyone noticed that the background behind the neighbors when they were talking was obviously a backdrop? I think that was deliberate as well.

The main design inspiration for this show was The Brady Bunch. The living room, the staircase, the kitchen are pretty much lifted from that show and reconfigured. The Brady Bunch was mostly filmed on sets, especially in their backyard. So it was all backdrops of other houses and fake sky.

The front of the Brady house was only ever shown as stock footage establishing shot of a real house - which this episode recreates at the start of the episode! (I had to double check this, but there is a shot of a "real" house with real trees and sky as the first shot after the opening credits. Then, after that, everything is set.
posted by crossoverman at 8:06 PM on January 22 [5 favorites]


I do think Geraldine/Monica really rocks that blue eyeshadow though.
posted by emjaybee at 8:59 PM on January 22 [12 favorites]


As someone who has seen almost none of the Marvel stuff, I think this show may be better for it. The scale of what lurks outside that dome is much grander when it encompasses all of that lore and isn't just some generic real world. But that lurking lore is I think more interesting when you don't know it -- not only is what's going on inside the dome a mystery that you are trying to piece together, but what the world is like outside is equally a mystery that needs piecing together, and in the latter case the clues are harder and more mysterious because the writers to some degree assume you know them. I could be wrong -- none of us can really experience what it's like to be both a knowing and an unknowing audience -- but having seen a lot of sinister-town-in-a-bubble shows over the years, the idea that in this case it won't ultimately open out into some generic mad scientist/wizard in the real world, but rather into a world that (to me) is every bit as bizarre and incomprehensible as what's going on inside the town, makes the mystery-box much more entertaining.
posted by chortly at 9:15 PM on January 22 [4 favorites]


This is kind of a more mainstream MCU version of Legion, not that I'm complaining. I agree that the comedy took a serious hit in this episode, but then again 70's sitcoms are not very funny, so it's accurate to the period.

Did that last shot with the helicopters show some kind of Annihilation-esque shimmery barrier with floodlights set up outside of it? Maybe the border of whatever reality-distorting field it is that Wanda has set up?

What do we suppose the neighbors were discussing that they didn't want to tell Vision? That scene gave me a heavy It's a Good Life feeling; it seems as though at least some of the Westview residents have an inkling of what's happening to them and who is to blame for it.
posted by whir at 10:09 PM on January 22 [7 favorites]


My money is on Geraldine being the pilot of the SWORD helicopter from episode 1; Wanda turned it into a toy to protect the bubble reality.

Ooh, I like that theory! IIRC her character is associated with the Air Force. It would explain presence of both SWORD and HYDRA logos if HYDRA is doing the experiment and a SWORD agent infiltrated it.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 10:23 PM on January 22 [1 favorite]


...also, I've enjoyed how in the moments when Wanda starts to break through to reality, the camerawork changes from fairly static long shots and two-shots and the like to more cinematic language with slow zooms and low angles.
posted by whir at 10:23 PM on January 22 [5 favorites]


It seems in several of the posts about the show on FanFare, relative newcomers have expressed their disorientation trying to get a foothold in the show. I had a look at TVTropes just now, and it describes the series thus:
WandaVision is a romantic superhero sci-fi mystery psychological surreal horror dramedy miniseries created by Jac Schaeffer...
I mean, how much handholding do people need anyway?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:33 PM on January 22 [3 favorites]


Also, did anyone noticed that the background behind the neighbors when they were talking was obviously a backdrop? I think that was deliberate as well.

The astroturf lawn was definitely a Brady Bunch callback. Looking at some old clips the fake backdrop seems to be a thing as well. Although the Brady backyard had high fences to cover it up most of the time.
posted by Gary at 1:01 AM on January 23 [2 favorites]


It seems pretty brilliant that the fake backdrop is both exactly right for the Brady Bunch world we've morphed into and also gives the impression, unlike the first two episodes, that the neighborhood is an enclosed artificial place. Right before Geraldine gets tossed out of it.

That scene gave me a heavy It's a Good Life feeling; it seems as though at least some of the Westview residents have an inkling of what's happening to them and who is to blame for it.


Or maybe it would be more appropriate to say that Geraldine got wished into the cornfield.

Given what the doctor said about how hard it is to leave, I would guess the neighbors were on the verge of telling Vison that they are prisoners and Geraldine had come to help them.
posted by straight at 2:58 AM on January 23 [3 favorites]


I’m kind of obsessed with the layout of the house. It’s definitely got a consistent blueprint through the first three episodes (except in ep 3 there’s a baby’s room to the left of the set instead of a fireplace). It’s just the style that changes.

And, the inside doesn’t fit the outside. Inside, the front door is at the back of the set at a right angle with a wall. But outside, it’s in the center of the house. There should be another half of the house at the back of the set, but instead there’s always a window.
posted by chrisulonic at 7:31 AM on January 23 [3 favorites]


chrisulonic, that's very much in keeping with the Brady Bunch aesthetic--the real house that was used for the Bradys' house exterior shots was a one-story house, until HGTV bought it and redid it for a reality show. Someone somewhere probably has a list of interiors that don't really fit in exteriors; IIRC the Millennium Falcon also fits this trope. (At least the TARDIS has an excuse; really, so does this situation.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:17 AM on January 23


Yes the layout was bothering me. The baby's room should be upstairs. Close to their bedroom (presumably). Also the house in the 60s and 70s is much larger than the 50s version.
posted by emjaybee at 8:18 AM on January 23


I love the elements from the Brady Bunch house it brought in, and the hair styles were pretty spot on for the era. And again when we brush up against the real world, the camera work changes. That's also when both Geraldine's and Wanda's accents change. Definitely some "It's a Good Life" vibes going on with the neighbors and the way their voices/affects change mirrors Geraldine and Wanda.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:46 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


The set design so far is masterful. The set for each episode immediately evokes the show its referencing, without being an outright copy. Just a few big design cues like the Brady Bunch stairs or the concertina pass-through doors in the kitchen from I Love Lucy and the message is quickly conveyed.
posted by dr_dank at 9:04 AM on January 23 [5 favorites]


It makes sense that the baby-birthing episode had to happen in the world of a 70s sitcom, since "I Love Lucy" had to do that storyline without being allowed to use the word "pregnant." I was a bit surprised that she gave birth on the floor of her own house since the standard sitcom trope was to have to give birth in some outlandish place like a stuck elevator.
posted by wabbittwax at 9:27 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


It makes sense that the baby-birthing episode had to happen in the world of a 70s sitcom, since "I Love Lucy" had to do that storyline without being allowed to use the word "pregnant."

Someone I know has a theory: the show is moving through Sitcom History, and one of the hallmarks of Sitcoms is that they gradually have revealed more and more "real life" over the years - in the 1950s they couldn't even say "pregnant", in the 1960s you could show the couple in the bedroom but they had to have separate beds, in the 1970s you could show a double bed and pregnancy and birth, in the 80s and 90s you start to get into stuff like alcoholism, drugs, etc.

Similarly, they argued, Wanda is moving through different levels of trying to face reality herself. So just like each Sitcom Era they're moving through is starting to "match" "reality" more, Wanda is herself getting closer and closer to facing her own reality. So by the time we hit the Sitcom World of today, which is more open about certain issues, Wanda would similarly be more ready to face her own reality and maybe that's how she's working through this.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:12 AM on January 23 [34 favorites]


Obviously comedy is subjective and you either laughed or you didn't, but I got a lot of genuine laughs from the sit-com jokes in the first two episodes. I suspect there were intentionally fewer good jokes in this one because the situation is becoming more tense and brittle. I think the pregnancy jokes and the stork antics are supposed to feel more creepy than funny. Somebody (Wanda?) is desperately trying to make Wanda's sudden pregnancy seem wacky instead of terrifying and it's not working.
posted by straight at 11:56 AM on January 23 [8 favorites]


So what was the neighbor up to with the retaining wall and those hedge-clippers?
posted by wabbittwax at 12:54 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]


wabbitwax: Hedgeclippers can make short work of bushes and lop off a finger if you’re careless, but I’ve never seen one that can cut into cinder block. If the neighbors are in this place against their will, they may be testing out an escape tool under the guise of “wacky neighbor landscaping”.
posted by dr_dank at 1:10 PM on January 23 [2 favorites]


I thought that was a "this wall is actually just a facade made of drywall" thing.
posted by straight at 1:13 PM on January 23 [7 favorites]


Yeah, I definitely agree that as the story of the show progresses, it gets darker as the sitcom eras get darker. And I think it's interesting that artificiality (while appropriate for this sitcom era) felt more pronounced and more creepy.

While there is a town, much of the action in these three episodes has taken place inside the house and I feel like it's kind of closing in further as we go along. Of course, Wanda was going to give birth there! I wouldn't be surprised if the scope becomes much more limited (at least in the sitcomverse) as we progress.

I think this is a really good example of how form influences storytelling. So far, this is only something that can be told through episodic television, using sitcom tropes. That's pretty high concept and I'm impressed Marvel was like "yeah, sure, go ahead and do it this way."

I'm going to be OK as more of the "real" world creeps in but I hope they keep up the sitcom pastiche as much as possible too. It's fascinating!
posted by edencosmic at 2:15 PM on January 23 [3 favorites]


Monica (Geraldine) came into the Avengers about the same time I first started reading comics. She's always been one of my top faves. I've been wanting her to show up since it was first clear they were serious about building a whole shared story and I'm excited as hell to finally see her. Teyonah Paris is great. I'm dying to see her get her super power-up, but I don't know whether to expect that here or in Captain Marvel 2.

This show has me hooked. To be honest, black & white '50s/'60s sitcom stuff is generally nails on chalkboard for me, and they nailed it enough in this series to give me that feel, too. My wife & I cringed our way through the first two episodes. But I feel like you never lose sight of who these characters are, so it was worthwhile and satisfying.

I really hate starting into something only to quickly become lost because I needed to know back story details only available buried deep in the MCU or any other sort of pop/geek universe.

I thought about this before the first episode. If you don't want the whole backstory, it boils down to: She can manipulate reality, she's not always in control of her powers, and she's coming out of a big bucket of trauma. And he's a robot who died in the movies.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:16 PM on January 23 [10 favorites]


Are the TMNT in the opening Marvel Studios animation?
posted by rebent at 2:22 PM on January 23


BTW, apologies for the self-link, but I can't pass up this excuse to share my favorite panel sequence ever. It's even more complicated in the comics.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:30 PM on January 23 [5 favorites]


I've seen most but not all of the MCU movies and I'm clearly not as big of a fan as some. Also, my boyfriend owns a comic book store & I do like comics. So it's hard for me to know how well this works for someone who doesn't know the backstory.

But! I do think the premise was pretty clear from the beginning -- the whole "indestructible head" and "flying saucers" lines (which did have bigger implications if you know). It was "Vision is a robot and Wanda has telekinesis/etc. powers" from the beginning.

And certainly, the show drops in more things (knowing what SWORD is, and Hydra and such) is probably important but I think there's a lot of the audience is finding these things out as the characters are. Wanda knows she and Vision have superpowers (and such) they must hide but that seems to be about it. I actually really like that about this show.

I think any Marvel movie (or TV series) should work as a stand-alone. Does this benefit from prior knowledge? Sure. Does this probably lead to the next big era of the MCU? More than likely. Am I enjoying it for what it is? Absolutely yes. And I think it can be taken in that way. The cast is charming and great. The production values are on-point. It's so amazingly high-concept, as I've said. I don't really care how this is going to fit into the bigger MCU because I enjoy it for what it is, which is just some fun, weird TV.
posted by edencosmic at 3:11 PM on January 23 [6 favorites]


wabbitwax: my take was a literal cutting through the 4th wall
posted by kokaku at 4:36 PM on January 23 [11 favorites]


If you don't want the whole backstory, it boils down to: She can manipulate reality, she's not always in control of her powers

That's her deal in the comics.

So far in the movies she's just been a very powerful telekinetic that can give people psychic visions (heh). She has pretty solid and precise control of her powers. She had one incident saving a lot of people from a bomb where many still got hurt/killed (she moved it away, but not quite far enough), but it was unclear whether that was even a mistake or just the best anyone could have done in that situation. It wasn't because she lost control of her powers. But she felt guilty about it and some people blamed her and the Avengers in general.

So for people familiar with the movies, all the stuff she(?) has been doing transmuting things, rewinding time, and changing reality is new, weird, and disturbing.
posted by straight at 9:22 PM on January 23 [4 favorites]


The glitch effect when she reset the scene with Vision because he started seeming too suspicious was Brady Bunch level perfect.

When the neighbors start talking with Vision at the end, it seems they are able to speak more freely because Wanda is at the same time having her confrontation/confusion with Geraldine inside. They keep cutting back and forth between the scenes until suddenly the neighbors snap back into character. This is probably the moment when Wanda ejected Geraldine. Vision is also taking advantage of this small window of opportunity to ask questions because although he has more lines, he’s just as much a controlled player as the neighbors.
posted by mikepop at 11:55 AM on January 24 [6 favorites]


and the lullaby is supposed to be Sokovian

I hear if you watch the show in Portuguese, you can read the translation of the lyrics.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:51 PM on January 24


The “Legends” set of shorts on Disney+ gives backstory for both Wanda and Vision.
posted by rmd1023 at 2:54 PM on January 24


I don't think that the comedy was supposed to be funny for us.
posted by octothorpe at 7:25 PM on January 24 [4 favorites]


The glitch effect when she reset the scene with Vision because he started seeming too suspicious was Brady Bunch level perfect.

Was that Wanda doing that particular reset? I don't recall her making any obvious motion signalling she was doing a reset and, visually, it was different than the "videotape quickly rewinding" effect used in the reset she performed in the previous episode. This reset was more like a sudden splice back to the start of a different take of the scene. No rewind effect. For a moment, it hit me as an actual glitch in the Disney+ stream (until it was apparent it was a different take), and it still strikes me as possibly something done from outside their (Wanda and Vision's) control.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:04 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Was that Wanda doing that particular reset?

I definitely was left with the impression that she was because she didn't want to deal with his questions, from the look on her face before and after. But I look forward to seeing if I was right!
posted by warriorqueen at 6:38 AM on January 25


I'm having a hard time with the structure of this show. 17 minutes of sitcom spoof, complete with terrible old sitcom writing. and then 7 minutes of "oh this isn't reality let's show what happens when the facade slips a bit". I was hoping the balance would shift away from 70% of the show being the sitcom spoof by now. I guess I'd be more on board if I thought the spoofing was particularly clever or insightful.

Also a bit troubled by the idea this show is Legion-lite. No one asked for that.
posted by Nelson at 8:34 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Perhaps, but I want it now!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:59 AM on January 25 [2 favorites]


Somebody's making an adjustment whenever Wanda starts to realize what's going on. It could be her own subconscious or some other puppet master that has trapped her in this situation.
posted by straight at 10:38 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


For me the sitcom spoof isn't the point but rather how much I enjoy seeing these two characters deal with a weird situation.
posted by straight at 10:38 AM on January 25 [3 favorites]


I'm having a hard time with the structure of this show. 17 minutes of sitcom spoof, complete with terrible old sitcom writing. and then 7 minutes of "oh this isn't reality let's show what happens when the facade slips a bit"

If they played it straight it would be a dull episode of Agents of Shield. If they went the opposite route you’d have Legion, which was terribly self important and also dull. The sitcom element isn’t simply a vessel, it’s an important part of the story. And the clash between the sitcom tropes and the broken reality adds to the discomfort about what is happening to, and as a result of, Wanda. For me, it’s disconcerting to find myself laughing at dumb sitcom jokes when I know Wanda’s reality is very much not funny.

And more generally, we really need to exercise more patience with a show like this. Give it a chance to come together. Hopefully the creators stick the landing.
posted by schoolgirl report at 11:30 AM on January 25 [17 favorites]


A classic sitcom trope is aging up babies into young kids who are easier to work with. So I'm guessing we might see 5-year old twins this week. As for for heavy influences, I am hoping they mine some deep cuts for young-kid sitcoms of the late 70's and 80's, like Punky Brewster, Webster, Silver Spoons, or Different Strokes.
posted by skewed at 12:22 PM on January 25


I am hoping they mine some deep cuts for young-kid sitcoms of the late 70's and 80's, like Punky Brewster, Webster, Silver Spoons, or Different Strokes.

Presumably Full House, right?
posted by snofoam at 4:02 PM on January 25 [6 favorites]


Maybe the final episode can be Stranger Things.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:34 PM on January 25 [1 favorite]


The “Legends” set of shorts on Disney+ gives backstory for both Wanda and Vision.

Thanks for the tip! They kinda help fill-out Wanda and Vision’s characters. What they definitely did, though, is make me very glad I skipped most of the MCU movies. Yeesh.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:48 PM on January 25


The corpse in the library: "Maybe the final episode can be Stranger Things."

I was hoping for Seinfeld.
posted by octothorpe at 6:54 PM on January 25 [3 favorites]


I’m hoping for some Mork & Mindy setups/send ups next episode.
posted by mikepop at 6:54 PM on January 25


god, how the fuck would they do Full House. I just had to picture, like, Clint and Sam as Uncle Joey and Uncle Jesse, so now you do too.
posted by nonasuch at 6:58 PM on January 25 [2 favorites]


I can't decide if they have to do Full House or if the multiverse explodes if Olsen references the Olsen twins.
posted by warriorqueen at 7:11 PM on January 25 [12 favorites]


You mean the Olsen quadruplets? /bojack
posted by Pronoiac at 11:48 PM on January 25 [2 favorites]


I think someone said "Family Ties" is going to be the vibe they go for next.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:17 AM on January 26


WandaVision Gets Ready for a New Arrival in “Now in Color” by Emmett Asher-Perrin
Tonally, there’s a lot to enjoy about the show, particularly in the combination of sitcom laughs with persistent and impending dread. It strikes me that this is working as a metaphor for sitcoms at large; within the history of the genre, the audience is more aware than usual that they’re separated from reality when they’re watching a sitcom. This is partly down to their initial construction: the live studio audience, the laugh track, the single stage sets, a certain level of wink and nudge directed toward the audience. Sitcoms trade in artifice, and for a long time they were set up more like plays than other filmed media.

WandaVision is taking that known separation and making it “real” in essence. The artifice is frequently being prodded at by the denizens of Westview, who know that something is off about their lives. This in turn points to the inherently frightening conceit surrounding any traditional sitcom setup—worlds in which all action takes place in one room, where you know your blocking, where you set up your spouse or friends for a one-liner… but also worlds were everyone is expected to behave the same and look the same, where problems are neatly summed up in a half hour, and where any lack of uniformity has to be erased because it throws off an imaginary rhythm.

Of course there is underlying horror to this show. Sitcoms are a horrifying place to be.
posted by medusa at 8:14 PM on January 29


70s style and dress and makeup is the best - how hot do both viz and wanda look? - i will fight you in any universe, mcu or not
posted by lalochezia at 8:11 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


As a side note, I enjoyed the jibe right at the beginning where the doctor says they give baby sizes as fruits for the little ladies to understand (however he phrases it), because BabyCenter.com really famously does that, to the bemusement of pregnant people, and will send you an e-mail or app alert every week telling you your baby's new size via fruit. I like the little meta-jab at the real 2021 world there from someone on the writing staff who's got a baby coming and is like WHY DO THESE ALERTS KEEP TELLING ME MY CHILD IS A ZUCCHINI?

This really is visually delightful, every episode.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:54 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


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